Story Through Textiles

Earlier this morning I was talking with a friend, who I have had the pleasure to work with for the past two decades. As we talked an idea unfolded, an idea I hope will come to fruition this school year and maybe beyond. This discussion has me dwelling on the idea of story through textiles, the many ways we can tell story through textiles, the many ways we can record story through textiles, weaving story and textiles together.

I find I need a place to list these as they come to mind, both those that I am aware of other doing or have done, and those that could be done….

  • Embroidery Wheel of the Year or “Year of Stitches”- This is something I think may have been an embroidery challenge as I saw a few examples in my Instagram feed last year. A circle, representing the year, is divided into wedges for each month. Daily, a single embroidered motif representing the events of that day is added.
  • Embroidered or slow stitched fabric books – A fabric book with a page for each month or week, each slow stitched or embroidered (or combination) daily or weekly with the events or emotions of that time. (See Summerhousesewing on Instagram for the projects that inspired this idea.)
  • Pictural applique quilts or mats – A particular wool quilt comes to mind but I can not recall which museum has it. While this quilt in memory may not be telling a story, the concept and construction could be used to tell story. Each block could use applique images to tell story or part of a story.
  • Woven story tapestry – Stories written, drawn, or sewn into strips of fabric which are woven together.
  • Braided story rugs – Stories written or drawn onto strips of fabric braided together each day/week.
  • Flag/banner Streamers – Small flags or banners with stories sewn, painted, embroidered, etc., on them strung together. An example of this that comes to mind is the Medicine Spoon Memorial. Spoons, each representing a woman who was put to death during the witch hunts, were printed on fabric flags which were further embellished along with their name, by people around the world. The spoons were then hung together as a unified story of these women.
  • More coming as my mind wanders…..

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